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About

Go Local Food Ltd is a co-operative based in the heart of the rolling hills of the Tyne Valley at Ovington. We grow over 40 varieties of fabulous vegetables for our members – from chillies to parsnips, fresh peas to butternut squash. Our 2 acres, 4 polytunnels , a professional grower, work shares and volunteers produce enough veg for over 60 people a week! We’re a huge, community owned market garden – where you don’t need to dig (unless you want to) and our veggies are harvested and ready to eat on the same day.

Background

Green Ovingham was established in 2009 with the aim of ‘Challenging climate change by promoting and supporting sustainable lifestyles in the Ovingham area’.

In 2011 Green Ovingham established five working groups, each focusing on how to make different areas of village life more sustainable; one of these was a food group that has now evolved into Go Local Food Ltd. Since spring 2011 the food group has been raising people’s awareness of where their food comes from, and its cost, both financial and environmental and promoting a vision of securing a plot of land from which to supply locally grown vegetables.

The Scheme

Having explored the options for locally produced food Go Local Food Ltd opted for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, which is defined as “… a mutually-beneficial partnership between a community and farmer. There is no fixed way of organising CSA – it’s a framework to inspire communities to work together with their local farmer.”

Our version of this involves local families (members) making monthly payments, in return for a supply of vegetables throughout the year. The growing is managed and commissioned by the members.

We have a grower who co-ordinates the planting and growing. Members have agreed to put some of their time in at particularly busy times of year, for example planting and weeding.

We started with 30 members who signed up to this scheme and we secured an acre of land at a site in Ovington, a village adjacent to Ovingham. We planned that half of the site could be planted up in 2012, the other half we needed to clear in preparation for planting from 2013.  Since then have expanded by taking another acre of land next to the original field.

Our grower is developing fruit on his own land which can be purchased at an extra cost in season until we have room to grow our own (future expansion). We also have the offer of fresh laid eggs (duck and hen) as available and artisan bread made by a local baker which need to be ordered by Thursday afternoon.

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